Edward norms. The townspeople of Suburbia all

Edward Scissorhands, directed by Tim Burton in 1990, is a film dominated by three themes, conformity, isolation, and self-discovery. Conformity, which is the behaviour to conform to a set of societal rules or norms. The townspeople of Suburbia all conform as they have the same cookie cutter houses, behave, and dress the same. Burton uses Edward to portray isolation and how society rejects those who are different.

Edward was an outcast, mainly because he had scissors for hands. He was deprived of social experiences and his isolation from society lead to his lack of common sense. Self-discovery is also a major theme in the film, as Kim undergoes a process of self-discovery when she realises she’s no longer in love with Jim due to his toxic personality.

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Burton introduces his audience to the idea of conformity through a series of aerial and close-up shots which show the regimented conforming townspeople’s houses and outfits. During a panorama of Suburbia we see Peg, a door to door Avon associate dressed in a respectably tailored outfit. Burton uses colour and costume to show Peg as a conforming ideal of Suburbia. As she approaches a door she conscientiously follows a winding footpath as if programmed to not step foot on the grass. When Peg finds Edward scared and alone in his mansion she sweetly grasps the problem as one that can be resolved with kindness.

Burton uses these techniques to reflect the belittling societal rules of that era and how they, in this case, affected the inhabitants of Suburbia.


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